Terra Applied Systems LLC (TAS) arose from an initiative to address an anticipated market in remote sensing systems that resulted from the 1992 Clean Air Act legislation. It began as a spin-off from Terra Laboratories, Ltd. in League City, Texas, an independent testing laboratory serving industrial and commercial customers reliable environmental and industrial chemical testing. Terra Laboratories, joined by Dr. John Pawloski, formed Terra Air Services LLC to cooperate with ETG Inc., located in Norcross, Georgia, to field open path FTIR systems for industrial optical remote sensing (ORS) applications. TAS assembled a core group with a particular understanding of industrial systems, adaptation of measurement systems to unusual environments, and a vision to support industry in the adoption of these technologies for practical industrial systems.
Terra Air Services initially provided customers with onsite survey services to identify, quantify, and locate emission sources from industrial process operations. Through this process, we further developed robust fielding practices. TAS participated in industry-shaping projects to develop applications and practices using ORS such as these:
- Estimate area source emissions using optical remote sensing
- Install and operate permanent multiple ORS technologies for industrial fenceline monitoring
- Provide and maintain real-time fenceline monitoring data to community and emergency response organizations
- Adapt ORS system data management and maintenance into industrial environments
- Field several first commercial units in industrial applications (FTIR, TDL, EDLS, UV interferometry, UV DOAS)
- Field real-time dispersion modeling supported by open path and point sensor measurements
- Support integration of open path data into commercial real-time emergency response modeling system
TAS developed a creative and strong technical culture that has proven effective in facilitating the adoption of technologies by industry and others. By 2015, the Terra group found that the projects and applications we support go beyond the ‘Air Services’ description implied by the name. The operation was renamed Terra Applied Systems LLC. The mission and experiences remained unchanged. The new name reflects the broad range of our role in projects and technology adoption.
TAS organized 1992 responding to Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 – TAS * Partnered with ETG to field open path FTIR in industrial applications – GA * Area monitoring Texas pesticide plant to re-duce operations CCl4 operations – TX * Scanner multipath FTIR survey at military aviation maintenance facility—UT * Emissions inventory reduction from settling pond at fertilizer producer – FL * 1993 fielded automated real time open path sensor supported dispersion modeling – TAS * 1996 permanent fence-line FTIR, UV, and TDL technologies – CA * Real time community remote access to refinery perimeter monitoring – CA * 1996 fielded first Boreal Laser commercial TDL – CA * Install of permanent HF TDL at HF producer and shipper – LA * Monitor for chemical agents for USCoE projects—TN,UT * Study to demonstrate sources of offsite emissions for re-frigerant producer – LA * Offsite impact fence-line monitoring using Opsys open path UV in Westlake – LA * Installation of FTIR H2O analyzer in a HNO3 process stream – LA * Installation of HF monitor for HF leak detection in refrigerant manufacturer heater exhausts – LA * Rewrote Boreal Laser Installation Guide to improve customer fielding reliability – TAS * Design-built installation of H2S monitor and alarm for refinery sour gas fin-fans – LA * Tandem installation and operation for comparison of Senscient and Boreal TDL products – LA * Development of more robust fielding equipment for long open path TDL systems – TAS * Review and adjustment to stabilize operation of open path laser systems at refineries * Design, installation support, and maintenance of open path HF TDL at most US refinery alkylation units * Refurbish and install of multiple TDL units for HCN process monitoring * Development of compact lower cost TDL open path probe * Design-build installation of NH3 monitor at refinery special products operation – NM * Design-build of perimeter HF monitoring with local hazardous area alarms – NM * Design support and fielding of multiple open path NH3 system at 4 beverage producers – VZ * Troubleshoot and repair of dead end H2S open path TDL at refiner water treatment plant – LA * Maintenance of permanent open path TDL for HF, NH3 at over 30 facilities with over 200 open paths * Commissioning of open path Cl2 perimeter monitoring at urban industrial site – TX * Design/build of 6 multi-pass Cerex UV systems for toxic gas detection – LA * Design-commission HF TDL multipath early response and detection and location system – IL * Upgrade multipath HF monitoring system to full quick-change redundancy – TX * Multi-sensor technology design build – KS * HCL